Thursday, June 29, 2006

Grad school stuff

While seeking advice on how to deal w/ my current low points related to doc program, found this info, thought it was interesting, thought I should share it w/ my fellow grad student friends and family, and also give insight into what I am going through:
-- It's not easy, but it does get easier to stand the isolation. You may not want to stand it, (and you shouldn't have to stand it). I didn't want to, but the inertia was there.-- My single best piece of advice is this: Barring extraordinary situations like test cramming and lecture preparation, there is a finite amount of work that you can accomplish in a given day. Figure out what this amount is and then budget for it. Wake up as early as you can and get it done. Then live your life.
--About 44,000 doctoral degrees are conferred nationally each year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Although there are no hard figures, anecdotal evidence suggests that as many as half of all doctoral candidates never complete their dissertations.
Writing a dissertation is very isolating, students say. Advisers can be busy with their own work or don't offer the guidance certain students need. Even if the relationship with academic advisers is amicable, nebulous deadlines make it hard to be held accountable.
"You're basically rudderless out there on the big ocean by yourself," said Bari, who found her coach through an advertisement at her university.
The term itself -- Ph.D. -- is shrouded in a powerful mystique. Those three letters can be intimidating to the person pursuing them, symbolizing a high level of expertise and authority on a subject. The psychological barriers of perfectionism, procrastination and pressure keep many otherwise motivated people from completing their dissertations.
"I needed someone to kick my ass," said Bari, who turned down teaching jobs this year in order to concentrate on her dissertation, which she expects will exceed 300 pages.
Earning a Ph.D. takes an average of five years, but may take as long as 10. And years of frustration and lack of productivity can leave doctoral candidates forgetting why those three letters were so important in the first place.
"I thought about quitting many, many times," said Susan Neufeld, 32, who has been working on a doctorate in applied developmental psychology at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif., since 1998. "I would have fantasies of burning everything when I was done -- a big bonfire."

Monday, June 26, 2006


I just posted my pictures for golf day, but I wanted to warn you of my personality in case you don't know how I roll. If you look up "fool" in the dictionary you will either see a picture of me or you will come across my name as a synonymous term. I have random pictures posted and I put a brief explanation of each picture, so I hope you enjoy.

See you in 12 days,


My golf pictures as promised

Here I am getting ready to get my golf on. I am loosening up in preparation to beat my buddy Smitty. There is that fool behind me getting his practice on as well.
Smitty and I taking another picture. I don't know who that chick is... she just jumped in the picture and smiled. Just kidding, that is my friend Francine. She plays golf with us a lot as well. While Smitty and I always compete, she and my other buddy Chappy always compete against other. They are pretty close score-wise. They argue like they are an old married couple. It is funny. I know I say "Good Lord" like 50 times on this day because they can never agree on who shot what.... pretty hilarious.

The fellas

Yet another picture before we take off. I know, I know... my eyes are closed. I am meditating searching for my inner focus. Or, I possibly fell asleep- I don't really recall this photo being taken.

It could get Hairy out there

Here I am consulting Hairy before I dust off my counterparts. He always gives me useful tips on how to approach every course. Thanks Hairy.

Talk about a tough course

Here is another random picture of me teeing off at a par 3. Don't mind the guns in the background. It is a semi-safe golf course with possible unexpected hazards that could drop in, but never worry because I always wear my protective gear for these special occassions.

Mr. Birdie

This was a good hole. I just drained a 40ft putt for birdie and Smitty (left) was like "noooooooooo" and Chappy (middle) was laughing. These are my two golf buddies that got me through difficult times. Chappy is going to come to GA to visit me in the future, so get ready to meet a wild and crazy dude. Chuck, you and Chapstick will get along fine- he is a hardcore Earnhardt fan too.

Gettin' ready to get our eat on

This is a picture of me and my partna' Keith starving after a long day of golf. I think we were the last ones to get our food. It was good when we finally got it. They could have put my plate back in the cabinet and used it later.
Here is my boy Keith and his team being recognized by everyone at the golf tournament dinner. Unfortunately for Keith, his team was recognized for coming in last place. They received a voucher for free golf lessons for the entire team. He wasn't too mad because we were just talking about him taking some lessons next week. See, it is true- Ask and you shall receive!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Awwww Yeah

Hey everyone, I am checking in like I always do (not often enough according to some). I know I haven't been a good blogger as of late, but I am trying to turn over a new leaf- more follow- through if you will. Man, I don't talk like that- jeez, Jess is rubbing off on me. I am becoming semi-edumacated I guess. I'm sorry, I don't know what is wrong with me. I just got done with 4 hours of homework and I am exhausted. Outprocessing my squadron is also a lot of hardwork, but boy is it fun. I have noticed a little extra giddy-up in my step as of late. I am very excited about coming home. As you can see from the countdown above, I will be home very soon. It has been a tough year for Jess and I and we are ready for it to be over. I won't be home home, but I will be very close to home and that is so much better than our current situation. I think we, for the most part, handled the situation very well. Vonage was a lifesaver (and $$ saver) for this difficult time. If you don't know what Vonage is, let me know and I will send you an email. It is awesome and saves a ton of money if you make a lot of long distance calls.

Well, now its time to say goodbye to all my blogger friends. Kobi, you thought I was going somewhere else with that, didn't you? As Jess would say, "you right!"

I hope everyone is doing well with whatever they have going on. Oh yeah, I had a weird and crazy idea of taking a lot of pictures of me in my room from various perspectives, so I could give you a view of my life in Korea. It is really stupid, but I got inspired by Jess and her many awesome pictures (pts. for me). My pictures were going to be my attempt to make everyone laugh. For example, I was going to show me doing homework, watching T.V., picking my nose or show a slight view of me in the bathroom, but I think Jess would kill me. I was laughing too hard during the event in the bathroom and I think my suitemate thought I was drunk or was having other issues so I nixed the whole idea. Anyway, I have a golf tournament coming up on the 23rd and I thought I would take some pictures of the people that I hang out with the most and of us having a good time playing small ball. I will post them shortly thereafter. Well, I have to get to bed. Talk to you later.

Love, Brent

Saturday, June 10, 2006


A friend of mine needs this message right now, and I read this quote every day, so I thought I would just go ahead and share it with all of you.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt

Also - look below - I have posted many many pics and also augmented the TRI commentary. And as Liz has said so eloquently on her blog - "...for the love of mankind, leave a comment so I know you're out there."

As I look back at the blog, I feel so blessed at the fullness of life, yet it also saddens me - Brent should be in these pictures too. We have lived so much of our lives apart, and I miss him so much. Luckily, we are very close to having him (near) home.

Love - Jess

NY - Out and about

/\ Having midday margarita's at The Happy Hour in Greenwich Village

/\ Mr. GQ posing in Washington Square Park
\/ Pics from the Staten Island Ferry experience

\/ Our friends from Germany at the HA! Comedy Club in Times Square. We had so much fun - the comedians were hilarious. We laughed so hard our faces and stomachs were hurting. The next day when we were eating at the Heartland Brewery, we recognized a member of the audience and Kobi went over to say hello (she's crazy!). It ends up he was a casting agent, said Kobi's laugh was enchanting, and gave her his card. Crazy huh? I know my laugh is loud and memorable, but it didn't get the "enchanting" vote :(

So, really quickly, many of you have asked "Why New York?" Well, first of all, we (me, Kobs, and Charlton) have an unofficial pact to take trips to various locations all over the world at least every two years. In Fall 2004, I was afforded the opportunity to visit Charlton in Munich. This year, we converged in New York City, and we are already planning a 2008 trip to Canada.

Kobi, Charlton, and I stayed with friends in NY - UGA alumni, Go DAWGS!. Erik is a teacher and Tituss is a musician and currently performs in a Broadway musical called Jersey Boys. Between the two of them, we had easy access to sites and transport close to Penn Station and the Lincoln Center, respectively. Old friends from our Chateau Elan days - and old roommates of mine (Marc and Kristi) - joined us on Saturday. We had such a great time! I took something like 150 pictures, and obviously I can't post them all, so here is a sample.

NY - Our Hosts

/\ Charlton, Kobs, and Erik, walkin' on the West Side

/\ Our host - Tituss. (Please keep in mind that this picture was taken at 1 in the morning :)

/\ The soon-to-be-famous Tituss giving us a private concert. His voice, his lyrics, his music - I wanted to cry it was so beautiful. We stayed up a couple of mornings singing with each other - he pulled out some old Bette Midler stuff for me to sing. It was so enjoyable. I look forward to visiting him again one day.


/\ This says it all.

/\ The future plan for the WTC/ground zero site.

NY - more

\/ The crazy crew at Pier 17.

\/ Eating at the Heartland Brewery near the Empire State Building. No, that is not a special design on my shirt, it is water. I would not have been so wet if Kobs would not have so kindly donated our umbrella to some individual (and by that I mean left it behind at the WTC :).

/\ Kobs and Charlton

NY - Little Italy

/\ "Charleston's" fake birthday celebration at the Il Palazza in Little Italy. We figured we should celebrate it, just ever so slightly early, while he was in the country :)

/\ I don't know if you can tell, but we are very full!!! The food was awesome!

NY - Central Park

/\ Kristy and Marc

/\ Charlton and me

/\ Me and Kobs

/\ In the subway

This was our last day in NY. We began by spending quite some time enjoying the vendors near 86th (spending too much money, eating vendor food - YUMMY falafel balls!). Then we made our way to the Belvedere Castle overlooking the Turtle Pond in Central Park. It was so beautiful.

Family visit

Grandma, Dad, Judy, and Max came to my house for a visit. We shared great food, wine, music, and conversation. Grandma loved my house (it was her first visit) and Dad and Judy complimented the many updates over which Brent and I have labored.

Mother's Day 2006

Mom and her "young'uns"

Winder gathering

/\ Jonathan's fan club. We gathered for his final band concert and dinner and had a great time.

\/ Pics from the WBHS mini-reunion :)

/\ Chanelle, me, and Hollie

/\ Hollie, me, Kobs, BroNorm

/\ Javad and Hollie

/\ Hollie M., Brooke, me, Hollie F.

Before the WBHS gym was to be torn down, an alumni basketball game (men's) was arranged. A few of us met at Loco's for some good eats, and then attended the game. We had a great time. Oh, the memories...